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  1. #31
    Senior Member ptgatsby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eldanen View Post
    No focus on short term = No existence of long term.

    On a side note, it's interesting how many people flock to Obama's charismatic rhetoric of change and hope. And they likely would after Bush's terms in office. But: out of the frying pan, into the fire!
    Catchy, but why do you think this applies? Obama knows what the costs will be, how he intends to do it and so forth... how is that "no focus on short term"? He's made it clear he is aware of the short term impacts, otherwise he wouldn't even of been talking about the higher prices.

    He said something that would normally be political suicide, and is getting called down for it. Disagree with the diagnosis, ok, I can understand... but he isn't just dreaming here, or hiding the impacts.

  2. #32
    Arcesso pulli gingerios! Eldanen's Avatar
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    I think that the problem with energy is the lack of awareness. Rather than governmental regulation by force and imposition of consequences, "if you don't do what we say," it'd be better to perhaps have voluntary unions of corporations interested in green/alternative sources of energy. Sort of like how we have organic foods that can be certified by people like QAI International. Then you can inform the public about people with "seals of approval" by independent organizations, and we can support a steady, progressive move toward a more efficient energy policy.

    The only block to this is the nonchalant attitude most people have toward anything outside their own experience.

  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by ptgatsby View Post
    Catchy, but why do you think this applies? Obama knows what the costs will be, how he intends to do it and so forth... how is that "no focus on short term"? He's made it clear he is aware of the short term impacts, otherwise he wouldn't even of been talking about the higher prices.

    He said something that would normally be political suicide, and is getting called down for it. Disagree with the diagnosis, ok, I can understand... but he isn't just dreaming here, or hiding the impacts.
    There are many who put far to much trust and hope in a single human being, a human being who is a politician for God's sake. If he actually implements plans like this, we're going to see SOOO many job losses from the effected industries; and high prices for everything from the energy that heats our homes to prices at the store if his energy policies will put hardship on businesses. No matter how you slice it, there is nothing so dire as to merit that in the times we presently live in.

  4. #34
    Oberon
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    Quote Originally Posted by ptgatsby View Post
    His theory goes that there would be more savings in the future than the costs in the present (or vice versa, more costs in the future, depending on how you read it).
    I agree in principle, but moderation is key. Once three or four senior citizens are found frozen to death in their rust-belt homes because their fixed incomes couldn't support their utility bills, the popularity of the plan will decline.

  5. #35
    Senior Member Lateralus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ptgatsby View Post
    Catchy, but why do you think this applies? Obama knows what the costs will be, how he intends to do it and so forth... how is that "no focus on short term"? He's made it clear he is aware of the short term impacts, otherwise he wouldn't even of been talking about the higher prices.
    No one knows what the costs will be. And his short term impacts are going to have a huge impact on the poor and elderly. Then again, he'll probably just make it illegal to shut the power off of anyone who doesn't pay their bills. And that'll be a wonderful policy. What'll end up happening is certain groups of people will get "free" electricity, but free for them only because it's on MY dime. In the end, there will be massive amounts of waste as a result of this plan (what incentive is there to conserve when your electricity is "free"?).

    Trust me when I say this will be another example of government intervention totally screwing things up. And they'll blame it on the market, like they always do.
    "We grow up thinking that beliefs are something to be proud of, but they're really nothing but opinions one refuses to reconsider. Beliefs are easy. The stronger your beliefs are, the less open you are to growth and wisdom, because "strength of belief" is only the intensity with which you resist questioning yourself. As soon as you are proud of a belief, as soon as you think it adds something to who you are, then you've made it a part of your ego."

  6. #36
    Nerd King Usurper Edgar's Avatar
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    In order for the alternative fuel technology to be developed, prices on fossil fuels have to plateau at certain, "high enough" price. The thing is, developing new ways to produce energies costs money, and investors have no reason to burn through money unless they see a potential return. If the prices of alternative fuel exceed the price of fossil fuel, it makes no financial sense to invest in the production of alternative fuel. This is kind of catch 22 - for the prices on alternative fuels to fall, the technology for the alternative fuel needs to be mass produced. But before it is mass produced, it has to be developed, and to develop it, the fossil fuel prices have to be high enough to promote the interest in alternative energy.

    Ordinarily, in a free market economy, we could just wait for the fossil fuel resources to become more scarce, and as the supply slowly decreases, the prices slowly rise, reaching a point where the development of alternative energy becomes viable.

    Unfortunately, it doesn't work that way because we are dealing with a cartel (OPEC), that has the ability to manipulate the prices at will.

    So say it takes 5 years to develop viable alternative fuel technology and a price of oil has to stay at $70+/barrel to provide sufficient return on investment.

    So this is what happens: OPEC keeps the price of oil at $100/barrel for 4 years, and in the fifth year, they flood the market, lowering the price to $40/barrel, causing the investors to bail on alternative fuel before the technology is complete. OPEC repeats the trick a couple of times to the point where most venture capitalists realize that they don't want anything to do with alternative energy.

    And on top of OPEC messing around with prices, we have constant political instabilities that mess with prices because a significant majority of oil is produced by either politically unstable countries, or countries located in a politically unstable area.

    So the only viable way to have the alternative fuel technology developed is to put a floor price on fossil fuels.

    It's not pleasant, but so is getting your infected teeth pulled. But it's better than the eventual gangrene.

  7. #37
    Senior Member ptgatsby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Risen View Post
    There are many who put far to much trust and hope in a single human being, a human being who is a politician for God's sake. If he actually implements plans like this, we're going to see SOOO many job losses from the effected industries; and high prices for everything from the energy that heats our homes to prices at the store if his energy policies will put hardship on businesses. No matter how you slice it, there is nothing so dire as to merit that in the times we presently live in.
    A large judgment call. You are right though, it will make everyone poorer. The more they pay for energy, the poorer everyone will be. That's a natural outcome.

    But that's because individuals, when price searching, can't and do not account for outside costs. Take, for example, the influence of oil and the war in Iraq. Can we find a way to transfer some of the costs from the first gulf war all the way to the current wars? The costs of terrorism in general, and the security we brought forward? Can we account for the costs of environmental damage by coal factories, both to people in particular and in the general reduced QOL in the long run?

    These costs build up over time, and then exact a large "unrelated" cost.

    It's not as simple as it seems. Jobs will be transformed, but it is unlikely the direct transfer would result in less jobs... more likely to be more jobs created, in the end. But that's negative, not positive, because it would take away labour from other economic activity.

  8. #38
    Senior Member ptgatsby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oberon View Post
    I agree in principle, but moderation is key. Once three or four senior citizens are found frozen to death in their rust-belt homes because their fixed incomes couldn't support their utility bills, the popularity of the plan will decline.
    I doubt it. It's when the average person opens up their mail and sees a higher bill that it will decline. That's normally how it works...

    (Of course, is that the line at which people freeze is arbitary. In the "free market", no one would help them out either, and some would freeze.... maybe more would now, but it's not like this plan suddenly pushes over a line. But it would be socialist to say that they should be subsidised so that doesn't happen in the free market, of course.)

  9. #39

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    Quote Originally Posted by Risen View Post
    If he actually implements plans like this, we're going to see SOOO many job losses from the effected industries
    This is a red herring, and another example of short term thinking over long term thinking. We don't employ butter churners or Pony Express riders anymore either, and the economy managed to survive. Economies evolve.
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  10. #40
    Order Now! pure_mercury's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EffEmDoubleyou View Post
    This is a red herring, and another example of short term thinking over long term thinking. We don't employ butter churners or Pony Express riders anymore either, and the economy managed to survive. Economies evolve.
    Really, really bad example. The Pony Express failed because the federal government awarded its transcontinental mail contract to another company. If it had been legal to compete with the Post Office (and the Civil War had not happened shortly after the Express started), who knows if it would have succeeded? Lysander Spooner's American Letter Mail Company was shut down by the government, for delivering mail MUCH cheaper than the Post Office did. There is a big difference between being rendered obsolete by competition and being crowded out by government fiat or largesse.
    Who wants to try a bottle of merc's "Extroversion Olive Oil?"

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